Sony have made a surprising announcement over the weekend. At the SCE Japan Asia press conference 2013, they revealed the release date of the PlayStation 4 in Japan as February 22nd, 2014. For a company that has always provided its home nation with joint, if not exclusive, debut release, the date seems rather shameful.
According to Sony’s press release, the reason for the staggered release dates (PS4 has a release date of 15th November, 2013 in North America, and 29th Novemeber, 2013 in EU territories including the UK) is to allow time to ‘tailor software to the region’ (implying a lack of suitable content for Japanese gamers). This isn’t great news for Japanese gamers, or for those gamers in the US and UK who rely upon region-free imports to bolster their games collections at launch. Of course, the fact that Western gamers will have the PS4 three months earlier than the Eastern contingent should keep them feeling pretty positive about the situation.
There is also an up-side to the delay for Japanese gamers, as those who pre-order the console will receive a free copy of SCEJ’s Knack in a ‘Free Limited Pack’. They will also benefit from a lower RRP for the PS4, at 39,980 yen (£256 / $401) without the PS camera, or 43,980 yen (£282 / $441) with the PS camera, which is a pretty incredible saving!
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